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How to Improve Factory Performance via Computer-Simulation Modeling

MH900311306Overview of modeling

Unlike most other operations-improvement consultancies, Simitar is expert in computer-simulation modeling. 

When operations are highly complex or variable, computer-simulation modeling can reveal huge opportunities for savings that spreadsheet models—and even experienced observers—overlook.  That’s because simulation models take into account the variability present in real life.  Simulation models also include a critical factor that spreadsheet models ignore: cycle time, and how it varies with load.  Read more ›

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Posted in Capacity planning, Computer-simulation modeling, Operations improvement

Simitar’s Handy Capacity Reference Tool for Managers

Simitar created this tool that it calls an ROI-Loading graph, or “ROIL” graph, and was invited to show it in the 2011 Winter Simulation Conference—the premier international conference for system simulation.  The tool displays results of multiple dynamic capacity analyses on a single graph.  Managers and engineers carrying this tool will have capacity answers always available.

Here is a graphic with instructions on how to construct the tool:

WinterSim 2011 ROIL-graph poster, modified for website, 4-23-12

The full paper on this method follows. Read more ›

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Posted in Capacity planning

230 mph down a French country road

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is held on French country roads that are closed to the public for the race.  In 1983, before chicanes were put in to slow down the cars, the 3.7-mile-long Mulsanne straight was the fastest section of race track in the world.  The presence of houses and trees alongside the narrow road only added to the sensation of speed—and the danger.  Here’s what it felt like to do 230 mph down a French country road, courtesy of racing legend Derek Bell and his Porsche 956.

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Posted in Off-subject
Simitar founder

Bob Kotcher

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    • “At Western Digital, I brought in Bob Kotcher based on his exemplary job performance, project management skills, academic & practical knowledge, and teamwork/communications skills, all of which Bob had repeatedly demonstrated to me when I had the opportunity to work with him prior to Western Digital. Bob brought with him world-class academic credentials and a simply outstanding knowledge of Factory Physics, including Capacity Modeling, Cycle-Time Simulation, and Lean Manufacturing. Bob is a great guy to work with and would be a valued member of any operations staff wanting to improve its productivity and/or lower operating costs. He won’t let you down.”

      Guy Harper – Engineering Projects Director
      Calisolar, Inc.
    • “At MMC, Bob initiated and led numerous cross-functional process improvement teams that made significant improvements to our production. For example, in one area, he linked together several disparate operations into a cell, reducing cycle time and WIP by 97% and saving $220,000 a year in labor and damaged product.”

      John Kim – Director, Thermal Reactor Process Engineering
    • “At Headway Technologies, we were planning a major capital investment in an additional photolithography stepper tool in order to improve throughput at this bottleneck. Bob did a Monte Carlo simulation analysis of this area and found something that none of us had suspected. The capacity at this work-center was actually operator-constrained, not machine-constrained. He showed us how, by adding operators, we could meet the required capacity increase. A few additional operators in the photolithography area kept these tools at an optimum utilization and this extra Opex was a small fraction of the capital depreciation that another stepper would have cost.” 

      Guy Harper – Engineering Projects Director
      Calisolar, Inc.
    • “At each company that he works with, [Simitar founder Bob Kotcher] strives to improve day-to-day operations, and thus to improve the bottom line.  Bob is not afraid to present politically unpalatable truths, if his work suggests that a change will lead to overall improvement.”

      Dr. Jennifer Robinson – Chief Operating Officer
      Fabtime, Inc.
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